Memory loss can be a scary concept for those who are aging and beginning to experience bouts of forgetfulness. It’s often a source of grief, embarrassment, and confusion, but there are tactics to help avoid or postpone this painful transition and improve memory over time.
If you’re looking to improve or strengthen your memory or the memory of a loved one, there are a number of brain games you can play to exercise this vital muscle. Puzzles such as Sudoku and crosswords are common go-to’s for seniors and forty-somethings alike, but there is another game out there that is making headlines among an aging demographic: bridge.
As we age, the risk of cognitive decline gradually increases and speeds up as we enter our golden years. Memory loss is often the first sign of a deteriorating mind and can start to occur as early as thirty years of age. The onset of dementia and other age-related diseases is a very real issue that can be prevented with the right diet, physical activity, as well as mental exercises. Studies have shown that card games involving strategy, such as bridge, may be the solution to warding off Alzheimer’s and dementia, and ultimately help improve memory loss.
Given the challenging, competitive, and problem-solving aspects of the game, bridge acts as a brain strengthening tool that not only satisfies the social component of human nature, but can actually prevent and improve memory loss and concentration. Since there is a learning curve to mastering the game, bridge can offer more benefits than simply holding the reigning title of local card shark.
“Playing games like bridge sort of forces your brain to lay down new linkages, new synapses, and it seems that the chemistry involved in making those new connections as you learn things, seems to combat the onset of Alzheimer’s,” said bridge instructor David Ochroch.
Bridge tends to be a complicated game that often persuades would-be players from passing on the experience and opting for card games that require much less brain power. Bridge has been referred to as a form of “mental gymnastics”, and it’s not without excellent reason. Given the focus, stamina – bridge tournaments can last for hours – and multitasking required to participate in this partnership-based game, it can be as if your brain is trying to do backflips while balancing on a tightrope.
Given this new information, we have a much deeper respect for the game of bridge. It’s no longer just a casual pastime for social seniors, but is an answer to thwarting off memory loss for years, and even decades.
If you’re eager to learn the challenging and rewarding card game, we suggest trying to connect with bridge players in your community that both your mind and social circle will benefit from.
Been playing for years? Let us know about the ways you’ve profited from this classic card game.